Venkata Swami knows his local community well. As the village chemist, he’s the one they turn to first for advice and medicine when they are feeling unwell. Ventaka mangages Shivani Medicals pharmacy in Adilabad district, Telangana, India.
These days when a patient comes in for cough medicines, Venkata takes the time to carefully ask them about their symptoms. If he suspects they may have the symptoms of TB, he will refer them on to the nearest clinic to be tested for the disease.
Venkata has been part of the PRATAM project for the past year, and has been trained in TB symptoms and the referral process. Now he feels confident in recognising the potential signs of TB, and knows how to motivate patients to seek help.
Venkata’s help has made a massive difference to 18-year-old Sreenivas. Having had to drop out of his university course as a result of frequent illness, Sreenivas visited Venkata at his pharmacy last year to get medicines for a recurring cough. Recognising the symptoms of TB, Venkata referred Sreenivas for testing, and his assistant accompanied him to the nearest clinic, where he was diagnosed with TB.
Now Sreenivas has been on directly observed treatment (DOT) for several months with Venkata, he is even feeling well enough to resume his studies, and stops in at Venkata’s shop for his tablets before getting the bus to university.